A hero is nothing without a villain, and the Transformers series has villains to spare. Throughout every iteration of the classic franchise, the heroic Autobots clash against the evil forces of the Decepticons, who have no shortage of beloved characters in their ranks.
Any Transformers fan knows about the major Decepticons like Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, and Devastator, who have all appeared in live action thanks to their roles in the Michael Bay-directed film series. However, there’s still plenty of noteworthy Decepticons who have yet to appear on the big screen. Here’s just a few antagonists who could make their cinematic debut in future Transformers films.
Bludgeon is something of an unconventional example to kick off this list. He’s never had a major role in any animated shows or video games — his only claim to fame is the comics. But even so, Bludgeon has proved to be a fan favorite, due in no small part to his striking design. Bludgeon has the appearance of a giant robot skeleton samurai, and this aesthetic is reflected in his characterization as an honorable, battle-hungry swordsman who has mastered the Cybertronian martial art of Metallikato. He may be a more obscure character, but Bludgeon is beloved nonetheless.
Like many Decepticons, Swindle isn’t driven by loyalty to the cause, but by purely selfish desires. But unlike the treacherous Starscream, Swindle isn’t out for power or glory — he just wants money. Swindle is a con man first and a soldier second, and true to his name, there’s nobody he won’t scam for a quick buck. Swindle first appeared as part of the Combaticon team in Season 2 of the original cartoon, where he joined together with his teammates to form the combiner Bruticus. He later returned in the 2007 cartoon Transformers Animated, where he was voiced by the late Fred Willard, who delivered a pitch-perfect portrayal oozing with sleazy charisma. He was even a playable character in the Fall of Cybertron video game, portrayed by prolific voice actor Steve Blum.
Another fan favorite from Transformers Animated, Lugnut was a brand-new character invented specifically for the 2007 series. But thanks to his memorable design, entertaining personality, and a fantastic performance by franchise veteran David Kaye, Lugnut proved to fit right in alongside a cast full of iconic characters. Lugnut is the ultimate Decepticon zealot, constantly showing a nigh-religious reverence towards his lord and master Megatron. Lugnut’s praise is so incessant, in fact, that it even grates on the nerves of Megatron himself. But despite his eccentricities, Lugnut is one of the strongest combatants in the series, possessing an explosive ultimate attack that fans dubbed the “Punch Of Kill Everything” — a nickname that would go on to be used in official media.
Another somewhat obscure character, Overlord first appeared in the Japan-only spin-off Super-God Masterforce, in which he was nothing more than an empty shell controlled by a human husband and wife duo. The Overlord armor was eventually brought to life, and later reappeared as an antagonist in the Transformers: Victory anime. However, the Overlord that most fans know and love originated in the comic books from IDW Publishing, and bears little resemblance to the original character.
The comic book Overlord first appeared in the 2010 Last Stand of the Wreckers miniseries by Nick Roche and James Roberts. He’s depicted as a rogue Decepticon commander who revels in violence and bloodshed, and is obsessed with becoming strong enough to defeat Megatron. Roberts has stated that his take on Overlord was influenced by John Simm’s portrayal of the Master in Doctor Who, and it shows — Overlord is a cold, calculating mastermind one moment, and a gleefully sadistic monster the next. More than just about any other Decepticon, Overlord is the stuff of nightmares, and he’s won his fair share of fans because of it.
This last entry is admittedly a bit of a cheat — Unicron isn’t really a Decepticon, and he’s already appeared on film. In fact, Unicron was the main antagonist of 1986’s The Transformers: The Movie, in which he was voiced by Hollywood legend Orson Welles in his final acting role. However, Unicron has yet to be the antagonist of a live-action Transformers movie, despite being foreshadowed by The Last Knight.
As far as Transformers big bads go, they don’t get much bigger than Unicron. Not only is he a robot the size of an entire planet, Unicron is essentially the Cybertronian equivalent of the Devil. In most iterations, he’s the twin brother of Primus, creator of the Transformers, who exists only to spread death and destruction throughout the universe. In other words, he’s the ultimate common enemy for the Autobots and Decepticons to unite against. Due to Unicron’s sheer scale, not to mention all the mythology surrounding him, he’d be best utilized as the final boss of a multi-film saga, much like Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bringing Unicron to life on the big screen is certainly a tall order, but if done right, it would be the ultimate spectacle for Transformers fans.
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